I was tagged by the incredibly fun and dangerous story teller, D. Alexander Ward, to participate in The Writing Process Blog Hop. I assure you his method is far more interesting than mine, so why not hop back a week and indulge in a little wordcraft voyeurism, right…NOW!
1. What am I working on?
Good question. And I have an answer. Let me think on it.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I usually aim for faster pacing and character driven adventure with horror/thriller elements. What I usually come out with, especially of late, is a strong voice, but I think I fail at the horror part. Also, I caught the Dieselpunk bug early 2012 and now I find it so much easier to write from a 40’s noir-ish platform than modern. This happened first with “Charlie Shaw and the Belfast Terror” about a year and half ago, and now I have this series of Detective Kennedy shorts and novelettes floating around, though I’m guilty of sandbagging. It’s a very unique environment and not many are interested in dicks and dames and zombies and planes. Oh, and I have a thing for romance, though I have no idea where that came from. Then there’s my sweet little inner lesbian that keeps creeping up to the surface and she definitely Debo-ed my last two stories. I sometimes feel violated, but I find sequential showering helps.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Escape. You’d think I have enough adventure in my life with my day job, but it gets old quick. I’m also very reclusive, but I love people. It’s a hopeless predicament! So when I get eyeballs deep into a crazy story with iron golems and Stuka dive bombers, I feel like I’m getting to share a movie with friends. Then there’s always a weird romance arc that rainbows itself out of the story somewhere and that sort of closes the deal for me.
4. How does my writing process work?
I have found that it’s easier for me to write for a themed sub-call than to just get creative on my own. About a dozen people who have read one of my novel supernatural thriller mss can testify: climbing through my head is like simultaneously following four different groups of teenagers through a mall with a roller coaster in the food court. If I write long, there’s going to be at least three radically different plot lines involved. Now, when I do go at it from scratch, I brainstorm across two large dry erase boards and my humvee windshield–yes, in the Army we write on our windshields. What else am I supposed to do with a big flat surface and handful of markers? Once the brainstorm is complete I let it rest and then white board a scene list. This always changes, but it kick starts the real writing process. From there I move everything to Scrivener and make the index cards for each scene, ensuring they end with differing values so that there is movement in the story and not a bunch of depressing scenes or happy ones all strung together. I’ve read books like that. They suck. After the scenes are plugged in, it’s a matter of filling in the details, letting it cool down, throwing the whole thing onto Kindle, and revising till I hate myself about it. Then I send it to readers and start the revisions all over again.
Back to 1. What am I working on?
Right now I am looking at YA urban fantasy/ horror I wrote a year ago along with it’s sequel. I had to rewrite the whole thing in first person, and that really brought out some issues since I had multiple plot lines and POVs in the original. Now I am looking at condensing the whole trilogy into one novel, and killing darlings like a door gunner on crank. I also have a cool tech-horror I wrote my last deployment and I really want to go back and eviscerate that little critter and see if I can’t make it work. The story was very original and had some outstanding eco-horror in it, but the writing was suffering to say the least. But what am really working on? Another Kennedy Dieselpunk story 🙂
And now the fun part! I found three very talented writers to play!
Suzanne Robb is the author of Z-Boat, from Permuted Press, Were-wolves, Apocalypses, and Genetic Mutation, Oh my!, and Contaminated. She is a contributing editor at Hidden Thoughts Press, and co-edited Read The End First which made the Stoker Recommended Reading List for 2012. In her free time she reads, watches movies, plays with her dog, and enjoys chocolate and LEGO’s. Her link is here: http://suzannerobb.com/
Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction covering the realms of horror, suspense, science-fiction, and fantasy. Her long backlist of short stories is now available in two collections, AT THE END OF THINGS and WICKED BREW, and you can find her most recent short work in the ghost anthology WRAPPED IN WHITE from Sekhmet Press and in an upcoming issue of Apex Magazine. Her debut novel, STRINGS, released from Hobbes End Publishing in late 2013 to rave reviews and has topped Amazon’s crime and horror bestseller lists multiple times. Readers can look forward to her next novel in the summer of 2014, a dystopian sci-fi epic called THE LAST SUPPER. When she’s not writing, she’s co-hosting a weekly podcast, Creative Commoners. After spending a decade in Olympia, Washington, she returned with her husband and kids to her native Midwest and currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. Find Allison here: http://www.allisonmdickson.com/